Tourists visiting Shimla will have to pay Green Tax from April 1. The move is said to be an attempt to control the increasing pollution level in the city. By Tanvi Jain

Planning to visit Shimla in April? You’ll have to loosen your pocket a little more, as the Shimla Municipal Corporation will now be charging an extra Green Tax from all tourists and outstation vehicles from April 1. This will be applicable to travellers from Parwanoo to Shimla, and will include the already existing entry tax and toll charges, to be paid at the upcoming plaza at Sanwara in Dharampur Tehsil. 

The entry tax, though existing for past two decades, will now be collected by the private company engaged in building Parwanoo-Solan highway, from April 1. The tax will reportedly be charged based on the size of the vehicle i.e. INR 300 for bigger vehicles, INR 200 for smaller ones, and INR 50 for two-wheelers. As per further reports, failure to pay Green Tax will result in a penalty of INR 2,000. 

As per official reports, the vehicles registered in Himachal will be exempted from the entry tax, but toll will be collected from people using highway. The government reportedly collects around INR 95 crore as tax at inter-state barriers across the state of Himachal Pradesh. Further reports suggest that the officials are now planning to increase the entry tax by 10 per cent.  

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The Green Tax is an attempt to curb the ever-rising pollution in the city, and has been directed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The tribunal has further directed the government to charge INR 500 from those driving polluting vehicles. The green tax concept was brought up few years ago as well, but was later discontinued. However, this time it seems like the tax will be charged very seriously considering the increasing pollution levels, specially due to surge in traffic from tourists. 

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